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Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5087

Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5087

Mapping Evapotranspiration Units in the Basin and Range Carbonate-Rock Aquifer System, White Pine County, Nevada, and Adjacent Areas in Nevada and Utah

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management

By J. LaRue Smith, Randell J. Laczniak, Michael T. Moreo, and Toby L. Welborn


Accurate estimates of ground-water discharge are crucial in the development of a water budget for the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system study area. One common method used throughout the southwestern United States is to estimate ground-water discharge from evapotranspiration (ET). ET is a process by which water from the Earth’s surface is transferred to the atmosphere. The volume of water lost to the atmosphere by ET can be computed as the product of the ET rate and the acreage of vegetation, open water, and moist soil through which ET occurs. The procedure used in the study groups areas of similar vegetation, water, and soil conditions into different ET units, assigns an average annual ET rate to each unit, and computes annual ET from each ET unit within the outer extent of potential areas of ground-water discharge. Data sets and the procedures used to delineate the ET-unit map used to estimate ground-water discharge from the study area and a qualitative assessment of the accuracy of the map are described in this report.


Evapotranspiration-Unit Map
References Cited

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Download the report (PDF, 3 MB)

Download Clip 1. Video clip of a portion of a flight of helicopter mapping of outer limit of potential ground-water discharge area, Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system study area, Nevada and Utah (WMV, 9.16 MB)

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Send questions or comments about this report to the author, J.L. Smith, (775) 887-7630.

For more information about USGS activities in Nevada, visit the USGS Nevada Science Center home page.

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